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Windows desktop gadget for browsing

For those folks who regularly search for US government GIS maps and data on, the US "Geospatial Data One-Stop" website, there's a new widget for quickly and easily keeping tabs on new data released. The Carbon Project recently released a new version of their "GOS Dashboard Gadget" for Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The widget installs to the desktop and allows users to easily browse offerings, as well as get notified of updates that match a defined filter or geographical area. You can check out a movie of the gadget in action here: You can download the gadget here:

New Penn State / PBS Series: "Geospatial Revolution"

I just watched the trailer for the new Penn State public broadcasting series, the Geospatial Revolution Project -- for a geo-geek like me, it was truly awesome!  A bit of context for those of you who can't watch the video right now, from the GRP website:

Penn State Public Broadcasting is developing the Geospatial Revolution Project, an integrated public media and outreach initiative about the world of digital mapping and how it is changing the way we think, behave, and interact.  The project will feature a web-based serial release of eight video episodes... the episodes will culminate in a 60-minute documentary. The project also will include an outreach initiative in collaboration with our educational partners.

We're looking forward to seeing what these outreach materials are as well.  The website mentions K-12 programming but also civic/community participation, so hopefully we'll see some useful materials that we can add to our nonprofit mapping resource library!


The "Where" Questions

In many of our other articles and resources about geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping for nonprofit organizations (NPOs), we focus more on the "NPO" than the "GIS" aspects: why should NPOs use GIS/mapping tools, how do these tools help fulfill nonprofit missions, when is it appropriate for NPOs to use these tools, what types of projects are other NPOs working on, etc.

In this article I'll be discussing some concepts squarely from the GIS/mapping side of the fence, but relax: we're going to keep it super simple and try to put in as many relevant community/NPO/NGO examples as we can :)

Custom Community Maps Go Mobile!

google maps mobile screenshotYesterday, Lily posted an article introducing readers to Google's "My Maps" feature, which allows people to construct their own maps, with points, shapes/regions, formatted text, images, video, and more.  This easy-to-learn mapmaking tool is being used by many nonprofits to create maps of their communities, their causes and issues, and various other geo-nifty applications.

MapTogether to present on nonprofit mapping at FOSS4G/Australia!

We're very pleased to announce that's proposed nonprofit mapping session - "Maptivism: GIS for the People!" - has been selected for presentation at this year's Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Conference to be held in Sydney, Australia this October.  FOSS4G is the annual international conference for developers and implementers of Free/Open Source GIS Software, and this is a great opportunity to share the awesome  neogeography work our communities are doing with the global GIS/mapping development community!

Quick and Dirty Thematic Mapmaking for Everyone

A thematic map (wiki link) is a map that illustrates a particular theme.  Most of the "informative" maps we see are thematic maps: weather maps, maps of political results, maps of bicycle paths, etc.

example of a choroplethIn this article, we'll take a step-by-step look at how to make a thematic map  - a choropleth - using free source graphics and free software.